Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Heiskell et al. v. Roberts, A17A0386
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/27/2017, 7/21/2017)
JUDGES:
The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a former state court judge in his suit against a county and its former sole commissioner related to the judge's compensation and did not err in holding that the former judge was entitled to attorney fees for defending against county's frivolous counterclaims.
The State v. Nicholson, A17A0470
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/27/2017, 7/21/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in granting defendant's motion to suppress the results of a state-administered chemical blood test because there was no evidence that defendant's consent to the test was anything but free and voluntary.
Styles v. spyke ten, LLC, A17A0578
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/27/2017, 7/21/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court abused its discretion in permitting service by publication and the Court thus reversed the denial of defendant's motion to set aside a default judgment entered against him.
Coward et al. v. MCG Health, Inc., A17A0295
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/27/2017, 7/21/2017)
EMPLOYMENT:
Plaintiffs failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation under the Whistleblower Statute because their complaints about understaffing in the psychiatric unit of a hospital where they worked as nurses did not constitute protected activities under the Act as they were complaints about violations of internal policies, not a law, rule or regulation. 
Fox v. Norfolk Southern Corporation et al., A17A0319
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/23/2017, 7/20/2017)
REAL PROPERTY:
The trial court properly granted summary judgment to railroad company on landowner's claims for inverse condemnation and trespass in a dispute over a right-of-way that bisected landowner's property but erred in granting summary judgment to railroad on landowner's claim for inverse condemnation of part of the property because the trial court erred in finding that federal law preempted the claim.
Alexander v. The State, A17A0315
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/27/2017, 7/20/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court did not err in denying defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea based on his contention that plea counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to advise him that because he was sentenced as a recidivist, he would be ineligible for parole under the plea, because defendant failed to prove that counsel's allegedly deficient performance prejudiced him as he failed to "set out special circumstances that might support the conclusion that [he] placed particular emphasis on [his] parole eligibility in deciding whether or not to plead guilty."
Vinings run condominium assoc., inc., et al. v. Stuart-Jones, A17A0586
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/27/2017, 7/20/2017)
TORTS:
Defendants were entitled to summary judgment in plaintiff's suit seeking to recover for injuries she suffered when she fell on stairs at her condominium because she had equal, if not superior, knowledge of the allegedly unsafe conditions and the necessity rule did not apply, since plaintiff could not demonstrate a landlord-tenant relationship. 
Danley v. The State, A17A0634
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (6/23/2017, 7/20/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for DUI and driving with a suspended license and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing State to introduce evidence of defendant's prior DUI conviction at trial to show knowledge and intent.
Central Of Georgia Railroad Company v. Ross, A17A0274
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/23/2017, 7/20/2017)
TORTS:
The trial court did not err in denying railroad's motions for judgment as a matter of law in plaintiff's suit for damages under the Federal Employer's Liability Act after he fell during his employment as a conductor for the railroad and injured his knee, as there was some evidence from which a jury could conclude that railroad breached its duty to keep the workplace safe and some evidence that the breach caused plaintiff's injury.
Martin v. City Of College Park, A17A0032
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (6/21/2017, 7/19/2017)
GOVERNMENT:
The trial court partially erred in granting City's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's suit alleging violations of the Georgia Open Meetings Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1 et seq., in connection with the appointment of certain interim officials. 
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